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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Somebody down the forum a ways made a good point. He was giving advice to someone asking about the 'worth' of a used car. Slim said forget anything marginal, especially with rust as you'll put at least 250% of the purchase price in the car getting it back to stock condition. Better to buy a stock car in good condition.

I agree with this completely, although I sometimes come across cars that people literally give me, which I can't refuse. Otherwise, if I was in the market (and had the $$$), I would only look at good to excellent STOCK cars. As much as I respect what some of you guys are doing out there, personal experience tells me not to touch modified cars with a 10 foot pole. Of course, if Phantom ever puts Zack up for sale, I'd probably have to eat those words.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
There's a Real Simple Rule Ol' Slim Goes By:

If you want a good car, buy a good car. If you want a frustrating hobby that'll cost about as much as a K2 climbing expedition or starting your own polo team, get a fixer-upper.

You see, older cars are like rolling IQ test scores. A dimwit who lets his machine rust away, runs it on bald tires, grinds the rims into curbs or uses duct tape to seal leaks is plenty dumb enough to let a bunch of other expensive little gotchas pile up out of sight. When you acquire his car, you also get a bill for his stupidity that's payable in cash.

I spotted a couple of 280ZX rats in my neighborhood yesterday that I wouldn't have hauled away if they were free. Maybe when I was a kid I might have, but not now, brother. Like I always say, "the only thing more expensive than a new car is a cheap (or free) used one."

As for "parts cars," thank you kindly but no thanks. I've learned that it's easier, and by far more economical, to go to somebody else's junk yard occasionally and buy exactly what I want than to maintain my own scrap heap. I didn't come by this knowledge inexpensively, by the way.
 

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Every Car has a Price John

Even Zack could be purchased for the right price. Just remember, though, beauty is only skin deep. He doesn't have rust but he's still a 22 year old car with an original engine. With judicious planning and you doing the work mostly yourself you could have a car that looks and runs as good as Zack for about $6,000, including buying the original car for around $1,500. What I did is listed in the narrative on him. It's the drive train and engine mods that really run the price up on these cars. I'm looking at $3,000 more just to do something with the engine. It I get super serious it will cost me twice that.
Phantom
 

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$12K for good stock z i think

Here where I am:
Base price: $2200 for good stock z, minor rust
$6000 so far for mechanics, suspension etc, lot of little things like emblems.
Probably $3000 for new bumpers, hubcaps, new paint and body work to get dings and dents out.
Say $12K total
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have to disagree personally

Maybe I'm just cheap, but I have to say that I've run into almost all of my best deals on mechanical parts with parts cars. This may be dependent on where you live. Here in Ohio, it's **** near impossible to find a Z with a mostly rust free body for under $2000, and that's an awesome deal. I've seen one, and I bought it 10 years ago. But I've gotten a perfect drivetrain from a $125 rust bucket I drove home (seeing the road pass below my feet the whole time).
One thing I can't find around here, is a set of used Toyota brake calipers, go figure. No one has any.
But don't keep the parts car forever, get what you need and dump the rest. You just have to accept that 2 days later you'll need something from it.
As for modified cars, it's just a gamble. Maybe they did it right, and maybe you bought a rolling junk pile. I look at them from the parts car stand point, if they want to sell me the car based on the parts value. If they want a higher price based on their labor, forget it. That's half the fun (and the price).
 
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